Agony(Entangled Hearts Duet #1) by Kaylee Ryan

Prologue





Cooper



I’ve heard the saying “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” many times throughout my life. There have been songs written about it, but it never applied to me. I never paid much attention. I didn’t need to.

Until I did.

Until the day I realized I was in love with my best friend.

Nine words. That sums up my current situation. I don’t know the exact moment that I fell in love with Reese Latham. I can’t tell you the day or the time, or even where I was. What I can tell you is that my love, it’s absolute. It’s a “deep rooted in my chest, chains around my heart” kind of love.

I can tell you that she’s been a huge part of my life since we were eight years old. I don’t have a single childhood memory without her in it. She is and has always been my person. I just didn’t realize what that meant until it was too late.

I lost her to someone else. Someone I’m sure who will never love her like I do. He can’t cherish her the way that I would. He can’t make her laugh so hard that her cute button nose scrunches up. He can’t hold her during scary movies. He can’t love her like I can. I could continue to list the reasons, but none of them matter.

Because she’s in love with him.

She’s agreed to be his wife.

I’m reeling.

I want her.

My heart craves her.

But she’s not mine.

There is a hole in my heart, and it has her name on it. Reese Latham will forever be the one that got away. Only, she’s still here. I still get to see her. Her smile still lights up the cloudiest of days, and her voice will continue to be my anchor in any storm.

I was wrong. I said nine words summed up my current situation when really all I need is one.

Agony.





Chapter 1





Cooper



College: Freshman Year



“Come on, Reese, you have to go,” I say to my best friend. I’ve been lying here on her bed in her dorm for the last half hour. I’m trying to convince her to go to the team’s season kick-off bonfire tonight.

“Nope. Not my scene, Coop. You know that.”

“You’ll be with me.”

“Right.” She laughs. “And all the floozies who want to hang all over you all night. Hard pass.”

“When have I ever blown you off for a cleat chaser?” I ask, but I already know the answer. Never. I’ve never put anyone before Reese, including girlfriends. If they can’t handle our relationship, they can find themselves a new one. We’ve been best friends since we were eight. I remember my parents dragging me to her house to welcome them to the neighborhood. I saw her pink bike in the yard and got excited. There were no other kids on our street. That afternoon her parents invited mine over for dinner, and Reese and I rode our bikes until we were practically falling off them from exhaustion. We’ve been thick as thieves ever since.

“Never.” She heaves a heavy sigh, bringing me out of my thoughts. “That’s just not me, Coop. Look.” She holds up her e-reader that I got her for Christmas last year. “I have a perfectly good book to read, and some mint chocolate chip ice cream in the freezer. I’m all set. You go and have fun. Be safe. Call me if you need a ride,” she adds, effectively dismissing me.

I have to go tonight. As a freshman on the football team for Central University, I have to be there to support my team. I have a full-ride scholarship, and as a freshman, Coach is starting me as a running back. That’s a big deal. I have to be there. “Please, Reese’s Pieces,” I say, sticking my bottom lip out. I usually bribe her with candy when I pull out the name, but desperate times and all that.

She rolls her light green eyes and holds her hand out. “Hand them over.”

“I don’t have them.”

“What kind of bribe is this?” she teases.

“We’ll stop on the way. I promise.” I don’t know if it’s because it’s her name, but this girl loves all things Reese’s. Then again, who doesn’t?

“Cooper,” she whines. “I really don’t want to go.”

“Too bad. You’ve been holed up in your dorm room since classes started. This is college, Reese. We’re supposed to be living our best life.”

“Hello.” She holds up her e-reader. “I’m trying to live my best life. You keep interrupting me.”